Here are the winners of the 26th annual Minnesota Book Awards

Categories: Books
Last weekend, talents from the local literary community gathered to celebrate and honor the best of Minnesota writing in 2013. The gala was hosted by John Moe of Wits fame. The eight categories included nominees in children's literature, genre fiction, poetry, and Minnesota. So if you're looking for some good summertime reading, or just want to get into a few books by Minnesota authors, the list of winners may be your ticket to finding a good read. Check out the entire list of winners after the jump.

See also:
Your guide to the Minnesota Book Awards finalists

More »

Your guide to the Minnesota Book Award finalists

Categories: Books
It's almost here: The Minnesota Book Awards gala happens this Saturday. Every year, a large pool of nominees is announced, and, from that list, four finalists from each of the eight categories are chosen. The categories are: Children's Literature, General Nonfiction, Genre Fiction, Memoir and Creative Nonfiction, Minnesota, Novel and Short Story, Poetry, and Young People's Literature. Eventually, the list of 32 finalists is further whittled down to one winner from each genre at the final party.

If you find yourself overwhelmed by the talent in the full finalist lineup, fret not. We've done the heavy lifting for you, and have pulled out a few titles from the finalist list that you should definitely be paying attention to.

More »

Hopper's Office at Night inspires serialized novella

Categories: Art, Books
Edward Hopper, Office at Night
Earlier this month, the Walker Art Center opened "Hopper Drawing: A painter's process," a collection of sketches, drawings, notes, and finished paintings by iconic American painter Edward Hopper. This April, the exhibition will be inspiring a different type of work in progress. Authors Laird Hunt and Kate Bernheimer are taking up an unusual residency, collaboratively penning a novella based on the famous Hopper work Office at Night.

See also:
The Walker's Edward Hopper exhibition explores how a painting comes to be

More »

David Mura: " I'm interested in the connections that can occur between people of different backgrounds"

Categories: Books, Spoken Word
Photo by Doug Beadsley
David Mura
David Mura will be celebrating the publication of his new book of poetry, The Last Incantations, on Friday with a reading at the Loft. The evening will double as a memorial for his late Aunt Ruth, who was a huge inspiration to Mura. Since her birthday was on March 28, Mura wanted to celebrate her life, especially as his other Aunt Ruby honered Ruth's wishes not to have a funeral last fall.

"I want to dedicate this reading to my Aunt Ruth, to commemorate her passing and her life and her gifts to me," Mura says. The reading will include performances by several of Mura's friends and collaborators, including Alexs Pate, Ed Bok Lee, Bao Phi, and Julianna Pegues. Before the event, we chatted with Mura over email about the new book, as well as his thoughts on poetry and writing.

More »

Labor Day is the most popular book in Minnesota

Categories: Books
So. Itemizing popular media by state? Apparently it's a thing now. Last week, it was announced that Metric is the most popular band in Minnesota (but then later it was discovered that Daft Punk was actually the top group). This week, Parade has figured out which books are the most popular by state, using e-book app Scribd.

The results are really odd.

More »


books, lists

Ancestry Books coming to north Minneapolis this summer

Thumbnail image for chaun_webster.jpg
Photo by Connie Beckers
Chaun Webster and Verna Wong in front of what will be their new bookstore
North Minneapolis is getting a new bookstore care of Chaun Webster, director of Free Poet's Press, and his wife, Verna Wong, a teacher in the Anoka-Hennepin School District. The two have signed a 16-month lease at 2205 Lowry Avenue, between Northland Hardware and Lowry CafĂ© (the space previously housed Goddess of Glass). They hope to be up and running by the time school gets out in June. The duo are currently fundraising for the store, which will be called Ancestry Books, through a Kickstarter campaign that ends March 8.

More »

Year in Review 2013: Literature

Categories: Books
This year has been a solid-gold one for the literary scene, bringing in collaborative projects, audience engagement, star-studded showcases, and, of course, fabulous literature to the good old Twin Cities. Let's take a moment to set aside our modest Midwestern tendencies, and proceed to "ooh and ah" about what happened on the local scene in 2013.

More »

Riverside Plaza complex book seeks stories from past and present residents

Categories: Books
Minnesota Local History & Historic Preservation
The Riverside Plaza has been a part of Minneapolis's Cedar-Riverside neighborhood since 1972. At the time of its completion, the building, designed by Ralph Rapson, was hailed as a major achievement in urban revitalization. There have been some rough years for the complex since then, as well as good: It recently made the National Register of Historic Places list, and is being rehabbed using federal rehab tax credits.

The Preservation Alliance of Minnesota (PAM) is working on publishing a book on the history of Riverside Plaza, and is looking for residents both past and present to share their experiences living there.

More »

President Obama book shops, purchases 3 books by MN authors

Categories: Books
Politicians: They're just like us. Last Saturday, folks across America took to local boutiques, stores, and pop-up events in support of Small Business Saturday. President Obama was part of that crowd, as well. He and his daughters, Malia and Sasha, took a trip to an independent bookstore to pick up some gifts.

Of the 21 books he purchased at Politics and Prose, a local independent coffeehouse and bookstore, three were by Minnesota writers.

See also:
Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and beyond: Shop local this season at these special events

More »

Goodnight Loon puts Minnesota spin on classic children's book

Categories: Books
Are you getting tired of reading Goodnight Moon to your kid every night before bed? Two creative types living in Minnesota and Wisconsin have re-imagined the beloved book into a homage to the North Woods region of the Midwest (and Canada). Their indiegogo campaign seeks to raise funds to print the publication while also benefiting a few great causes.
More »